Wednesday, 24 December 2014
Review: The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Hardcover / eBook
Released: December 4th, 2014
From ancient times the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember. Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara’s home. And only a winter child—and the ice dragon who loved her—could save her world from utter destruction.
The Ice Dragon is one of George R. R. Martin's older novellas, newly republished in a lovely little hardback with brand new illustrations by Luis Royo. It isn't a long book and doesn't have much depth to it, but it's a fun fantasy read and is exactly what I expected it to be like.
This book is all about young Adara and her experiences with the fabled ice dragon. She befriends the dragon, riding on it and touching it like no human has before. When she's seven years old, dragons from the north descend on her family's farm and threaten to destroy everything; it's only Adara and the ice dragon who have any hope of stopping it.
This really is a nice little story, full of dragons and Adara, a wonderful character who I wish I could have spent more time with. I would have liked to learn more about her affinity with winter and the ice dragon, though unfortunately short novellas don't allow for such things. I enjoyed what I read, though, and am very glad I finally have a chance to read it.
I can't talk about The Ice Dragon and not mention the fantastic illustrations that adorn the cover and inside pages. They're all brilliant, dark and grey like I imagine a cold winter to be, with dragons that look lifelike. They're a great compliment to the story and I can't imagine this book without them - it would certainly be a very different reading experience. I'm sure George's legions of fans will lap this book up, and for good reason too!